Are you having a hard time getting your business off the ground? Are you using social media and still not getting traction? Design thinking is a process used by user experience (UX) professionals to ensure solutions appeal to the end user; however it can also help you build life coach programs that resonate with your clients.
What Is Design Thinking?
According to Tim Brown, the executive chair of IDEO, “Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.”
Most people start a life coaching practice because of a divine calling. It’s the reason I acquired a life coach certification (or two) from an accredited coach training program. Using the design thinking approach will further your quest for helping your clients by finding solutions based on their needs (instead of building a solution based on what YOU want for them).
The design thinking process allows you to take a human-centered design approach to solve problems. This means you consider the needs of your users through each phase of your product or service creation. Which means you will:
- Gain a deeper understanding of your clients’ issues
- Automatically be inclined to challenge your assumptions around the problem
- Redefine the problem based on client feedback
- Come up with innovative and viable solutions
Where Design Thinking Intersect With Life Coaching
The design thinking process is iterative. It lives in the center of the challenges you will face as a life coach, which includes your ability to:
- Understand your clients’ needs
- Fulfill your calling
- Feasibly implement solutions in your life coaching practice
- Have long-lasting solutions that continue to evolve with your client needs
Benefits of Using Design Thinking to Develop Your Life Coaching Business
Using Design Thinking to build your life coach programs will not only enhance your professional development as a certified coach, it will also benefit your bottom line. Client-focused thinking allows you to:
- Understand and deal with rapid changes in your clients’ environment
- Respond quickly to customer feedback
- Continuously gather feedback from your clients
- Spend less by using agility in your process
- Train you to build client-focused programs
How to Apply the 5-Stage Design Thinking Process to Build Your Life Coaching Programs
The Design Thinking process is made up of a series of steps to help you design solutions that address your clients’ needs. Here are the steps:
- Empathize with your clients
- Define the problem and gain insights from the clients’ perspectives
- Come up with innovative solutions through the creative process
- Create solution frameworks
- Validate your solutions through testing
Stage 1: Use Empathy to Understand Your Clients’ Needs
Research the problems from a consumer perspective. The most critical point of the process is ensuring you understand the problem. Looking from your clients’ viewpoints forces you to put your assumptions and beliefs aside to gain real insight into the issue.
Stage 2: Define the Problem Statement Based on Your Clients’ Pain Points
Analyze the information you gathered through the first phase to form a problem statement. There are tools available to ensure you keep your problem statement human-focused.
Stage 3: Use the Creation Process to Ideate Solutions
The creation process is fun. Design Thinking makes it fun and meaningful. Use creativity to come up with innovative solutions that tackle the problem statement.
Don’t confuse creative for complex. Use proven processes and tools such as brainstorming and research to help you clarify your ideas.
Stage 4: Create Solutions
It is possible to prototype your solutions. Produce a structure for your program solutions. You can share your outline or a slimmed-down version of solutions with ideal clients or a business coach.
Stage 5: Test Your Solutions
Go through iterations of testing. Evaluate your solutions to see if any more problems need to be addressed. As you refine your solution, test to a small group of clients before offering it to your entire market.
Design Thinking presents an iterative way of getting the right solutions to your market. The process is rigorous, light, and agile. This process is not necessarily sequential.
Design thinking can help you innovate quickly in situations like COVID-19. Many life coaches responded by going virtual.
Implement Client-Focused Solutions
More people are turning to niche life coaches to help them overcome obstacles so they can live up to their potential. However, clients are looking for coaches who understand and address their needs–not life coaches who implement what they envision for their clients.
It would be best if you had a well-designed program and marketing plan to launch your business. Jowanna Daley, located in McDonough, Georgia, is a business coach that loves helping people that help people. If you are a life coach and need such help, sign up for a free session under our Quantum Leap program today.